How to Create a Photo Zine for Photography

As a professional photographer, it’s incredibly important to showcase your work in a captivating way. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a photo zine. A photo zine, or a photography zine, is a small, self-published collection of photographs that can be a great way to showcase your skills and create a cohesive narrative. In this blog post, we’re going over exactly what a photo zine is and how to create a photo zine for your shots.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to create a photo zine – look no further than Print Bind Ship. Print Bind Ship has over 60 years of experience in bringing books of all kinds to life. We maintain some of the highest-quality printers in the industry, ensuring the most top-notch look for your photos. Plus, we also take care of bookbinding and book fulfillment. Learn more here.

What Is a Photo Zine?

A photo zine, or a photography zine, is a small, self-published booklet or magazine that features photography. Photo zines emerged from punk, DIY movements, and underground culture as an alternative way for photographers to showcase their work. They are typically independently produced by the photographer in small batches with a handmade, experimental aesthetic.

The subject matter of photo zines can be very eclectic, showcasing unique perspectives. Photo zines are sold directly by the photographer or through niche bookshops and outlets. They allow photographers to have full creative freedom and retain rights over their images compared to traditional publishing.

At the most basic level, a photo zine is essentially a visual storytelling medium that combines photographs with captions in a physical form. Photo zines may contain lots of text, very little text or no text at all. They can be professionally bound or stapled together. Their unique purpose and attention to visual detail are what make them such an intriguing medium.

Reasons to Self-Publish a Photo Zine

Whether your zine is just for you or intended for a wider audience, the main reason most people create photo zines is for fun.

Opportunity to Express Your Creativity

Maybe you’re looking for a new medium as a storyteller, or maybe you just want to show off some particularly impressive images you’ve captured. Whatever the case, using photos to construct compelling narratives can be a great way to use your creativity to entertain and expose new audiences to your work.

Opportunity to Build Your Personal Brand

Do-it-yourself projects can be extremely useful for getting noticed, whether by possible collaborators or employers. Making compelling photo zines may lead to new commission-based projects or attract new fans. You can also use your photo zines to flesh out your portfolio.


Using self-publishing printers is a relatively inexpensive process. By going the self-publishing route, you can avoid the need to print thousands of copies — and pay the associated distribution costs. Instead, you could have five, 10, 100 or any number of zines printed as desired.

You also don’t need any fancy custom software. You can download a photo zine template for a program such as Adobe InDesign and start creating immediately.

Develop Your Skills

Honing your skills as a photographer and storyteller takes practice. By making a photo zine, you can familiarize yourself with various graphic design techniques and improve your layouts. Such skills can make you more marketable.

Satisfaction and Fulfillment

One aspect of the photo zine that appeals to many is that it’s a solo experience. When you put together a photo zine, you have complete freedom to bring your artistic vision to life and create something that reflects your particular worldview.

5 Steps to Create a Photo Zine

If you’re ready to craft your own photo zine, here’s how to get started.

1. Gather Your Photos

As you begin gathering your images, it can be helpful to ask yourself directed questions. For example, what kind of theme do you want to establish? Is there a central narrative? How many pages will your zine be?

From there, you can play the part of the editor and figure out which photos you’ll use and in what order. Check out other photographers’ photo zine examples for inspiration.

2. Plan and Organize Your Photo Zine

To make your zine as visually appealing as possible, consider the overall style and format you want to present. This will mean zeroing in on elements like image size, text and binding style as well as color schemes, fonts and other details.

3. Consider Text and Other Design Elements

You must mull over every design aspect, from fonts and text size to color palette and border dimensions. How can you make the design as compelling as possible?

4. Printing and Binding Your Photo Zine

Print Bind Ship can turn your zine into a hardbound or perfect-bound masterpiece or make it spiral-bound so it lays flat. Our quality printing will ensure that your images look outstanding and last for years.

5. Consider Distribution and Marketing Strategies

You can sell your zine on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Etsy and promote it on social media and appropriate networking groups online and locally. You can also take out ads on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you plan on selling your zine, your e-commerce site can sync with Print Bind Ship. That way, we can print copies and send them out directly as people order them.

Choosing Print Bind Ship for Creating Your Photo Zine

Partnering with a professional printer like Print Bind Ship gives you access to the quality printing and binding you need to make your zine stand out.

Our designers will work with you to ensure that your zine is ready to wow customers, and you can expect the finished product to be phenomenal. But that’s not all. Our relationships with retailers and distributors will also give you a leg up on getting your zine in front of as many eyes as possible.

How to Print a Photo Zine

Here are some types for how to get started with printing a photography zine:

  • Choose your printing method: Common options include professional printers like book printing services, Risograph printing, photocopying, or home printing. Consider print quality, color vs black and white, number of copies needed, and overall budget.
  • Decide on paper type: Consider things like weight, texture, and size. Photo paper, matte paper, or newspaper style paper are popular options that suit the zine aesthetic. Standard sizes are 5.5 x 8.5 inches or 8.5 x 11 inches.
  • Design your zine layout digitally: Use desktop publishing software to arrange and edit your photos and text into a master file for printing.

The easiest way to print a photo zine is to send your files to Print Bind Ship and let us handle it for you. All you have to do is make a few stylistic choices, such as selecting a paper finish, paper weight and thickness and binding style. If you need any advice, our experts are here to guide you at every step of the way.

Reach out to Print Bind Ship to make your photography zine dream a tangible reality.

Explore Your Creativity with Help from Print Bind Ship

Creative minds can’t help but create, and a photo zine can be a fantastic outlet for photographers, artists, travel writers, animal lovers, cultural connoisseurs and other creative types.

With Print Bind Ship, you get not only top-tier printing – but experts who truly care about presenting your work in the best possible light. For photography zine printing, make sure to contact us for a free quote on your project!


Why should I make a photo zine?

Photo zines are a unique and attention-grabbing creative endeavor that can be sold for a profit, expose new audiences to your work, showcase key skills to potential employers or just give readers a glimpse into your sensibilities.

What makes a photo zine different from other types of photography books?

Photography zines present images more narratively than simple photography books. More than just photographs, they’re a means of individual visual expression.

How can I create my own photo zine?

Collate the photos you want to use, arrange them in your preferred order, determine your specific design preferences, add whatever text you’d like and have it printed and bound by a professional printing service like Print Bind Ship. It’s that simple.

Where can I find photography zine examples?

You can find photography zine examples by networking with other photographers and going through their work. You can also browse sites like Pinterest for examples of photo zine templates.

Where can I find cheap zine printing?

You can find cheap zine printing by obtaining quotes from multiple printing companies. Consider both national brands and local options. Also, make sure to get in touch with Print Bind Ship – we can offer you a free quote for your project!